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How to Protect Extra Long Hair at Night: Preventing Damage in Hair Waist Length and Longer

Sleeping can be rough on long hair that is longer than waist length. People toss and turn in their sleep, allowing their hair to rub against rough cotton sheets and become a tangled mess.

Many bed sheets are made out of cotton blends that draw moisture out of hair, which roughens the hair cuticle causing both potential tangling and breakage.

Hair longer than waist length is particularly vulnerable to damage because the length can tangle more than short hair during a typical night’s sleep. Protecting hair at night is the best way to prevent hair damage. Learn some techniques to protect extra long hair from nighttime damage.

Sleep Bonnets and Scarves for Hair Protection

One of the easiest ways to protect long hair at night is to wear a satin sleep bonnet or silk scarf to bed. Sleep bonnets look like shower caps made out of satin or nylon.

Silk scarves are generally square-shaped. Both bonnets and scarves come in solid colors, prints and lacey designs. People use these items to both protect hair and to preserve a hairstyle for another day. They are also good head covers for hair conditioning treatments to prevent getting conditioners on sheets.

To use a sleep bonnet, gather detangled hair and gently tuck it into the bonnet. You can also braid or bun your hair and put it in a sleep bonnet.

Scarves work best for hair that is in bun or updo for sleep. Arrange the scarf around your head so that all hair is covered. Tie a knot loosely either at the back of the neck or the top of the head, to secure the scarf for a comfortable fit.

Updos and Braids for Sleep

Arranging hair in a braid or updo for sleep can also protect extra long hair. A single braid or two braids are often the most comfortable for sleep. The single braid can be in the back or on the side, depending on how your preference for sleep. Braid the hair firmly but loosely to prevent damage. Lay the braids over your pillow so that you do not sleep on them. Laying on hair also can prevent gradual damage over time.

For people with hair waist length and longer, braids are not always comfortable for sleep because the long braids get in the way or feel lumpy if rolled on. Updos may work better for comfort.

Comfortable updos for sleep include a high bun on top of the head or a loosely twisted bun at the base of the neck. Some people also like hair gathered to the side in a loose bun if they sleep on their back. Secure updos with satin scrunchies or plastic hair pins instead of metal hair pins to prevent breakage.

Satin Sheets and Pillowcases for Hair Care

Satin is a better bed sheet material for hair because the material lets hair glide across the sheets and retain moisture. Even hair worn loose on satin sheets or pillowcases will tangle less than hair exposed to cotton bed sheets. A satin pillowcase is sufficient to protect hair if you do not want to invest in a full set of satin sheets.

Curtain Panel for Bed

People with hair longer than tail bone length may find it helpful to allow hair to hang loose off the bed over a curtain panel attached to the bed. The curtain panel should be made of a smooth material such as nylon or a satin polyester blend. The curtain panel keeps the hair from touching the floor.

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